Panamanian culture is full of diversities. It is a blend of
varied cultures whether it is the native Indian people or the
colonial era settlements or even current times of multi-race
communities. The Spanish ruled Panama for about 300 years and
this had to contribute to the European artistic, literary and
musical influence on the Panamanian in the Panama Canal region
whatsoever. Thus it is evidently loud that Panamanian culture
is nothing but an extension of cultural synthesis.
Panama customs are well reflected in the ways of life of
the Panamanians, their music, their dance, their festivities,
their literature and even in their cuisine.
Truth be told, the co-existence of the many influences in
Panamanian culture is strongly evident in how the people of
Panama lead their lives. People inhabiting the urban areas,
particularly the Panama Canal area (where the US army was
based in the days when the construction work of the Canal
was under progress), lead refined, sophisticated lives. Be
it in the field of art, architecture, music or sports, the
cities correspond to a modern society where the US influence
is much-too apparent.
The blissful matrimony of diverse cultures in Panama brings
dance and music into play. Thus, the traditional dance Tamborito
introduced by the Spanish invaders borrows steps and rhythms
from native dance forms. The influence of Afro-Caribbean music
and that of other popular local music like salsas cannot be
missed. Though Spanish is the preferred language for compositions,
the themes, plots and even characters have their roots steeped
in the colorful Panamanian culture.
The many festivities held year-round in Panama like the Carnaval
or carnival, Festival of the Black Christ, Fair of Azuero,
Semana Santa (or Easter Week), too uphold the land’s
cultural diversity. Most of the festivals are excellent blending
of Pagan and Catholic beliefs and rituals. The religion of
Panama plays a prominent role in Panamanian culture as well.
On the other hand, the Panama countryside with its cattle
ranches and horses and Spanish folk songs, continues to be
the stronghold of Hispanic culture. The native people of Panama
restricted in the small land pockets here and there also continue
to contribute immensely to Panamanian culture. Consequently,
the netted bags and beaded necklaces made by the Guaymí
people and the brightly embroidered textiles called Molas
(made by Kuna women) have brought Panama’s artwork and
handicrafts worldwide recognition. The epic poems (extending
to some hundreds or thousands of lines) of the Kuna people
focus another aspect of the Panamanian culture.
There remains no question unanswered as to the depth of diversity
in Panamanian culture. Paying visits to the museums will certainly
emphasis this fact. Make sure that you go places of historical
significance in Panama and mingle with the people of Panama
to get the taste of the rich and vibrant Panamanian culture.
For more information about
traveling to Panama, or visiting Panama please contact us.